What does Gen Z want from business school? A new GMAC report has some answers
Gen Z — those born between 1996 and 2012 — is the next major cohort of graduate business students. Already they comprise a huge percentage of graduate management education candidates. They are, in a word, the future — so it’s no wonder that the Graduate Management Admission Council and many other groups are devoting significant effort to finding an answer to the question: What do they want?
GMAC’s latest report, released today (June 7), titled Gen Z in the GME Pipeline: Explain Why It’s Worth It, tries to nail down that answer from prospective B-school students in the United States, China, India, and other countries. In it, using both qualitative participant responses and quantitative survey data, GMAC reveals candidates’ attitudes and interests as well as the motivations that spur them and the obstacles that confront them in pursuing graduate business education.
Of course the Gen Z respondents to GMAC’s new poll vary widely, but in sum: They want strong ROI if they are going to pursue an MBA — but that can mean more than just a high salary.
SEEKING: FLEXIBILITY, TANGIBLE SKILLS & PERSONAL GROWTH
Gen Z makes up nearly one-third of the global population and will make up more than one-quarter of the workforce in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries by 2025. And according to GMAC, Gen Z now comprises more than half of the candidates applying to graduate business education programs.
In its latest survey, GMAC communicated primarily through a moderated online community with written, video, and visual participant submissions with 18- to 24-year-old prospective graduate business students in the U.S., China, India, Germany, Peru, and Nigeria. The information they provided was supplemented by quantitative survey research and desk research. The chief findings: “In the classroom, Gen Z want flexibility, real-world application that translates to tangible skills, and opportunities for personal growth through networking and exposure to different perspectives.”
Moreover, “Gen Z are laser-focused on seeing a return on their investment if they pursue GME. And ROI corresponds to multiple dimensions of success, not just money.
“Gen Z want personalized advice from students, alumni, and their families and friends early in the application process. They want to hear from more professional sources closer to application deadlines.”
HOW GEN Z DEFINES CAREER SUCCESS & FUTURE GOALS
Other key findings in GMAC’s new study:
Gen Zers view stability as key to their careers and future goals. They are seeking financial independence, good employers, and fulfilling personal lives.
Gen Z consider mental health, wellness, and work/life balance as key dimensions of their academic, career, and personal futures – but Gen Z are still ambitious.
There is an emotional undercurrent of Gen Zers’ decision-making. They want to feel proud of their accomplishments – and they want to make their family and friends proud, too.
Read the full report on gmac.com.
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